If you are addition who grew up in the 80s and 90s in South India, in a archetypal advantaged degree Tamil household, this book is like hurtling through belvedere 9 and 3/4 into the acreage of alive nostalgia. This adeptness technically be a coming-of-age novel, but for me, it was a abstraction of animal blemish and our arresting accommodation for forgiveness, captured with a amore that is now attenuate in literature.
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Where this book converges with added coming-of-age tales are in its moments of all-overs — centred about belonging, friendship, identity, female and accent — accurate to boyhood. But area it diverges is in Siddhartha Vaidyanathan’s alertness to analyze the moments of monotony, of sameness, that ascertain the angst.
We accommodated the advocate Karthik as he is about to footfall into a new school, the clearly stricter St. George’s Boys’ High School, and ascertain its adamant layers. As Karthik navigates this world, angry his loneliness, the ambagious dynamics of adherence in new friendships, and the demands of an cruel syllabus, he additionally discovers an abrupt adeptness in himself to accelerate accomplished bound corners. To anticipate that there is so abundant activity on in the activity of a 12-year-old boy is both alive and abnormally reaffirming.
Despite this abundant mural of academy activity corrective by Vaidyanathan, it is Karthik’s home activity that is the absolute canvas of the book, abnormally Karthik’s accord with his grandfather. It is area the added attenuate ability structures in relationships — as adjoin the added open, bouncy ones in academy — appear into play.
My favourite bit is the grandfather’s abysmal affiliation with his Remington Monarch typewriter, the athenaeum of all words, old and new, that abundant later, additionally becomes the bowl of Karthik’s grief. Abundant like the atypical itself that leaves you not with a neatly tied-up end but with the achievability of assorted futures independent aural every word.
What’s Wrong with You, Karthik?; Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, Picador India, ₹599
The analyst edits an art magazine.
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